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Henry Treece

Henry Treece (December 22 1911June 10, 1966) was a British poet and writer, who worked also as a teacher, and editor. He is perhaps best remembered now as a historical novelist, particularly as a children's historical novelist, although he also wrote some adult historical novels.

His five volumes of poetry were: 38 Poems Fortune Press nd.; then by Faber & Faber, Invitation and Warning 1942, The Black Seasons 1945, The Haunted Garden 1947 and The Exiles 1952. He appeared in the 1949 The New British Poets, an Anthology edited by Kenneth Rexroth; but from 1952 with The Dark Island he devoted himself to fiction. Representative of his children's books are the trilogy Viking's Dawn, The Road to Miklagard and Viking's Sunset. He also wrote the children's book War Dog. His play 'Carnival King' (Faber & Faber) was produced at Nottingham Playhouse in 1953. He also worked as a radio broadcaster. His historical novels set in Mycenaean Greece are reminiscent of Mary Renault.

Treece was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire, and graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1933. He went into teaching, first at Tynemouth School. In 1939 he married Mary Woodman and settled in Lincolnshire as a teacher at Barton on Humber Grammar School. In World War II he served as an intelligence officer in the RAF and helped John Pudney edit Air Force Poetry.

Other poetry anthologies he was involved with include The New Apocalypse (1939) with J. F. Hendry giving its name to a movement; two further anthologies with Hendry followed. He wrote a critical study of Dylan Thomas, called Dylan Thomas - Dog among the fairies published by Lindsay Drummond, London in 1949. He and Thomas fell out when Thomas refused to sign up as a New Apocalyptic.

He also wrote "Conquerors" in 1932, as a way to reflect on the horrors of war.

He edited issues of Transformation, and A New Romantic Anthology (1949) with Stefan Schimanski, issues of Kingdom Come: The Magazine of War-Time Oxford with Schimanski and Alan Rook, as well as War-Time Harvest. How I See Apocalypse (London, Lindsay Drummond, 1946) was a retrospective statement.


  • 38 Poems (1940)
  • The White Horseman: prose and verse of the new apocalypse (1941) (edited with J. F. Hendry)
  • Invitation and Warning (1942) (verse)
  • Transformation. (Transformation two [etc.].) (1943) (Prose ... Poetry ... Plays) (edited with Stefan K. Schimanski)
  • Wartime Harvest:an anthology of prose and verse (1943) (edited with Stefan K. Schimanski)
  • Air Force Poetry (1944) (edited with John Pudney)
  • Herbert Read: an introduction to his work by various hands (1944) (edited)
  • A Map of Hearts (1944) (tales) (edited with Stefan K. Schimanski)
  • The Black Seasons (1945) (poems)
  • The Crown and the Sickle: an anthology (1945) (with J. F. Hendry)
  • How I See Apocalypse (1946)
  • ''I Cannot go Hunting Tomorrow. 1946) (short stories)
  • The Haunted Garden (1947 (poems)
  • Leaves in the Storm (1947) (book of diaries) (edited with Stefan K. Schimanski and with a running commentary)
  • Transformation Library. (1947) (general editor with Stefan K. Schimanski)
  • Selected Poems (1948) (edited by Algernon Charles, with an introduction by Henry Treece)
  • Dylan Thomas. ‘Dog among the fairies.' (1949)
  • A New Romantic Anthology (1949) (edited with Stefan K. Schimanski)
  • The Dark Island (1952) (novel)
  • The Exiles (1952) (poems)
  • The Rebels (1953) (novel)
  • Desperate Journey (1954) (A tale)
  • The Eagles Have Flown (1954) (novel)
  • Legions of the Eagle (1954) (novel)
  • Ask for King Billy (1955) (novel)
  • Carnival King: A play in three acts (1955) (play)
  • Hounds of the King (1955) (with two radio plays by the author, 1965 edition)
  • Viking's Dawn (1955) (1st in The Viking Saga)
  • The Golden Strangers (1956) (also published as The Invaders - 1979)
  • The Great Captains (1956)
  • Hunter Hunted (1957) (novel)
  • Men of the Hills (1957) (novel)
  • The Road to Miklagard (1957) (2nd in The Viking Saga)
  • The Children's Crusade (1958) (novel)
  • Don't Expect Any Mercy! (1958) (novel)
  • Red Queen, White Queen (1958) (novel) (also published as The Pagan Queen)
  • The Return of Robinson Crusoe (1958) (novel)
  • Ride into Danger (1959) (novel)
  • The Bombard (1959) (novel)
  • Castles and Kings (1959)
  • The True Books about Castles (1959)
  • Wickham and the Armada (1959) (novel)
  • A Fighting Man (1960)
  • Red Settlement (1960)
  • Viking's Sunset (1960) (3rd in The Viking Saga)
  • The Golden One (1961)
  • Jason (1961) (novel)
  • The Jet Bead (1961) (novel)
  • The Crusades (1962)
  • Man with a Sword (1962) (novel)
  • War Dog (1962) (novel)
  • Collected poems (1963)
  • Electra (1963) (novel)
  • Fighting Men: how men have fought through the ages (1963) (with Ronald Ewart Oakeshott)
  • Horned Helmet (1963) (novel)
  • Know about the Crusades (1963)
  • The Burning of Njal (1964) (novel) (retold by Henry Treece)
  • The Last of the Vikings (1964) (novel)
  • Oedipus (1964) (novel)
  • The Bronze Sword (1965) (novel)
  • Splintered Sword (1965) (novel)
  • Killer in Dark Glasses (1965) (novel)
  • Swords from the North (1966) (novel)
  • Bang You're Dead! (1966) (novel)
  • The Queen's Brooch (1966) (novel)
  • The Green Man (1966) (novel)
  • The Dream Time (1967) (novel)
  • Vinland the Good (1967) (novel) (decorations by William Stobbs, map by Richard Treece)
  • The Windswept City (1967) (novel)
  • The Crusaders (1978)



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